How To Transform Your Home Into a Zero-Waste House
If you’re trying to be more eco-friendly and sustainable, then you no doubt have heard of the zero waste movement.
The premise is that you reduce your waste to nothing. By making informed purchases and by reusing or upcycling you can dramatically reduce how much stuff you throw in the garbage.
Landfills are overflowing and much of the material that goes to recyclers can’t be recycled anyway. It all ends up being thrown away.
By making a choice to go to zero waste, you can make a big dent in this system. Even if you aren’t able to go 100%.
Just trying to make a difference will make a difference if everybody were to try doing the same thing.
In this article, we will go over several habits that you can change to go zero waste at home.
Buy in Bulk
One of the first steps to take to go zero waste is to focus on less packaging from your purchases. While it may seem counterintuitive, buying in bulk will actually reduce how much packaging you are dealing with.
For instance, if you are buying bathroom products then you should buy bigger packages of them since you will use them over time.
A good example is to buy bulk Q Tips so you actually end up with less packaging.
The larger package uses less material than several small packages. Once you buy, you can then use an eco-friendly Qtip container to dispense them rather than the small plastic container we are used to.
There are many ways to also buy cleaning products in bulk. You can buy some glass containers that last forever. Fill them up with things like dish soap, laundry detergent, and even floor cleaner.
There has been a big increase in stores that offer this to their shoppers.
Even food staples can and should be bought in bulk. Many supermarkets like Whole Foods have a bulk foods section. You can buy things like grains, rice, pasta, and even breakfast cereal.
You can bring your own container and not have any packaging used at all to buy these products. That way, you’re well on your way to a zero-waste house.
Go Toilet Paper-Free
One of the biggest wastes in any house is toilet paper. Although there are a lot of recycled toilet papers out there that do give the paper a second use and reduce the number of trees cut down to make them, they are still wasteful.
Your best bet is to not use toilet paper at all. It seems like a stretch but by using a bidet you can then cut down your toilet paper use significantly and even eliminate it altogether.
There are a number of different types of bidets that can be used and allow you to go toilet paper-free.
Some will even attach to your toilet so you don’t have to worry about doing any extra plumbing. In essence, the bidet is going to use water to clean you, and then you simply dry off.
If you choose to use toilet paper, you’re still using a fraction of what you once were. You can also use things like family cloth, which is a great way to recycle old clothes.
Make a Compost Bin
All of your kitchen scraps end up in a landfill and emit tons of methane into the atmosphere. It is much better to avoid that from happening.
Instead of throwing away your kitchen scraps, you should compost them and turn them into nutrient-rich soil for planting. Even things like your shredded documents can be thrown into your compost bin instead of trying to recycle them.
Hopefully, you have a small space where you can garden. Use the compost that you create for it, but if you don’t it makes sense to do it anyway.
The compost that you create can be used for potting flowers. You can give some away to a neighbor that is growing vegetables.
Much of the things you have in your house don’t need to be thrown away. There are many people who would love a free item and you may be the one that has it.
Everything from old clothes to damaged electronics can be given away or upcycled.
Many items that ordinarily would be thrown into the trash can end up with a second life in somebody else’s plans.
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Even things that you feel serve no purpose. They can be used to create something new and at zero cost for the person receiving them.
Do you have any additional tips on how to make your home into a zero-waste house?
Let me know, til then—cheers m’deres!
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Nancy Polanco is a freelance journalist, lifestyle content creator, and editor of Whispered Inspirations. She is a proud Mom to Gabby and Michaela and partner and best friend to Darasak. Having worked as part of a health care team for almost a decade, Nancy is happy to be back to her passion. She is a contributor to the Huffington Post, TODAY’s Parents, and an Oprah Magazine Brand Ambassador.